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Book review – The Serpents of Kanakapuram

Book Title – The Serpents of Kanakapuram

Author – Sudeepa Nair

Publisher – Notion Press

The story takes place mostly in and around a laid back countryside and the author chooses to start with laid-back narration in first person. Thus the story unfolds at the pace of the opening  of rose petals, and as a reader, I was not sure how it would proceed.

Since the story is set in God’s Own Country,  Kerala, and the author being blessed with great vocabulary, I could visualize the natural beauty and nature’s fury in the opening chapter.

The introduction of the main characters takes its own sweet time but once an element of mystery is introduced, I was hooked. If the reader is not expecting a thriller, she would love how the mystery unfolds with some twists and turns.

However I felt that the ending was rushed. All in all, a good read from Sudeepa Nair. Yatindra Tawde

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The Exports

The country is known for its Exports; the export of its talented human resources. Most of the Top 50 Organizations are headed by Indians. That certainly makes you feel proud.

Then there are some other exports who make a name for themselves by some other means, not always on the better side of law.

Riding a car on the wrong side of the road! Isn’t this an euphemism for breaking laws? Well an Indian lady did just that on the distant roads of England.

England.

A country, which over the years, has seen unprecedented influx of immigrants from its ex-colonies, especially from the Indian subcontinent. They move to a western country in the hope of making a better future for themselves.

While a few take the route of higher education followed by a good job to settle in a new country, a big number are from the labour class.

While most from the Indian subcontinent are comfortable with the English language due to a more than 150 year legacy, there are quite a few who struggle with the A, B, C’s of it.

But they don’t let this small inconvenience be a setback to their dreams. They work hard towards making a better life for themselves and one of the signs of progress is buying a car to move around the new country.

This is when their struggles start.

To begin with, their authorities are stricter during the actual test. But the theory test is no walkover either. Those English examiners can be quite intimidating while asking questions, and especially the accent can be confusing if your language skills are so-so.

Here’s where the lady saw an opportunity for herself .

She happened to be a good driver and possessed good language skills, backed by confidence. She made her move.

By the time she had been caught red-handed, she had more than a century of driving tests, both theoretical and practical, to her discredit. While it is alleged that impersonation is a common offense at quite a few Indian RTO’s, it was a new experience for the English. Hence she made the front page in their newspapers.

While she was driving away to glory, she managed to make a cool crore for herself. But now she will cool her hard working heels inside an English lockup.

 

Yatindra Tawde

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book review – Born a Crime

Book Title – Born a crime

Author – Trevor Noah
Publisher – Spiegel & Grau

No. Of pages – 282

Without any doubt, I would say that I have made the best possible start to my reading journey in 2022. In fact, ‘Born a crime’ by Trevor Noah is one of the top-most books I have ever read. (And happy that it was recommended to me by my daughter)

An undercurrent of respect and love for his feisty mother runs through the entire book and culminates in the hard-hitting final chapter. He knows and he appreciates the fact that it was his mother who actually moulded him right from his childhood to his adult life and made him what he is today. This is what takes the book to another level and sets it apart from other autobiographies.

Trevor Noah grabs the readers attention right from the beginning.

While he tells his own story, he manages to paint a stark picture of Apartheid of those times even though it was on its last legs. The machinations of the white man where he created enmity between the different linguistic tribes of Africa so that they remained subdued to foreign rule,  rings a bell near home. Also the fact that most black people were kept deliberately uneducated for the longest time and made to think that their indigenous culture was something to be ashamed of, you realize that same formula was used elsewhere as well, to promote forced colonization of huge populations across continents.

Reading this book was an exhilarating journey of understanding other cultures and the realization that though other cultures may appear strange or exotic from afar but the basic human emotions and characteristics are similar.

Yatindra Tawde

 

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Airavata Microblog hop

This blog post is part of the Airavata -1Microbloghop hosted by Meera V Barath

https://meerasoasis.com/airavata1-microblog-hop/

 

Author Name – Yatindra Tawde

Book Name – Airavata

Story Title – Little Gobu

 

Author Introduction –

 

Yatindra Tawde tried out writing posts on social media and that’s how his writing journey commenced. Encouraged with the feedback from his friends and family (aren’t they super supportive), he started his own blog  – https://itsmylife.net.in

Starting out with sharing his thoughts on different subjects in a humorous manner, he diversified into story writing. Winning a few events, he never looked back.

He has published his own e-book titled ‘Reflections of a blogger’ and his stories have been a part of ‘Hawk’s Nest’ , ‘Route 13: Highway to Hell’ , ‘Blood runs Cold’ and ‘Airavata’ anthologies.

Twitter handle – @tyatin4326

 

My experience with Airavata

I came to know about the plan by Pachyderm Tales and Mayaakatha, for a children’s book whose main protagonist was to be an Elephant. I had never attempted to write for children before, my past forays in writing stories being mainly humour or horror. Thus was born my first attempt at a children’s story.

Since the project was going to be titled ‘Airavata’, I decided that my protagonist would be an elephant from present day India.

When one thinks of an Elephant nowadays, the first thought that comes to mind is the repeated encounter that happens between elephant and man due to continuous encroachment of human habitation into fast depleting jungles. So I decided to set my story on one such encounter. I had also seen umpteen videos on social media of baby elephants having fun. Thus my main protagonist, ‘Little Gobu’ was born. Giving free reign to my imagination, I weaved a story around Little Gobu and his protective herd of female elephants.

Buy your copy of the Airavata book here

 

#AiravataAnthology #Airavata1microbloghop #StoriesWithMayakatha #PachydermTales #UkiyotoPublishers

 

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Blood Runs Cold – an E-book introduction

The Hive is live with its second offering “Blood Runs Cold”

It contains seventeen edge-of-the-seat thriller stories written by seventeen authors. -Ratnakar Baggi, Varadharajan Ramesh, Tina Sequeira, Sarves, Rashmi Agrawal, Srivalli Rekha Mantrala, Anshu Bhojnagarwala, Priya Bajpai, Sreeparna Sen, Christopher Dsouza, Aradhna Shukla, Ell P, Kanika G, Sheerin Shahab, Pranav Kodial, Pavan Kumar and Yours truly.💛💛

The efforts are being noticed and appreciated by well-established and well-respected writers like Neil D’Silva and Damyanti Biswas who have written the forewords for ‘Route 13: Highway to Hell’ and ‘Blood Runs Cold’ respectively.

With diverse voices on board each story has something for the readers.

Grab your copy of ‘BLOOD RUNS COLD’ from here:

http://mybook.to/BloodRunsCold

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Coming soon…a Thriller anthology you will love

#Project3 #TitleReveal #BookCoverReveal

Hi all, 

I am a contributing writer in this exciting venture by The Hive.

The Hive is a non-traditional publishing collective. The first anthology was Route 13: Highway to Hell, a horror anthology. 

The anthology experienced tremendous success. More than 200 copies were consumed by eager readers. It might seem like a small number, but it’s not. In the world of self-publishing, these are great numbers, especially for a brand new entity like The Hive. Route 13 topped the horror charts on Amazon new releases for a whopping 6 weeks in a row and remained in top 3 for more than 12.   

Now, The Hive launched #Project3. They invited submissions and nearly 50 entries were received.

All the entries were subjected to a stringent two-round selection process and SEVENTEEN stories were selected to be part of #Project3. I am elated that my story is a part of this exciting anthology.

#Project3 is ‘An Anthology to Thrill,’ and the seventeen stories are going to do exactly that – thrill you, the readers. It has stories about scorned lovers, devious criminals, supercops, sleuths, violence, blood, danger, suspense and, murder. You are going to enjoy this. 

Delighted and proud to present to you the title, cover and release date of #Project3. 

                        BLOOD RUNS COLD 

                    Book Release: 17/07/2020

Why July 17th? Well, it is a very significant day for crime and mystery. 

1. The Romanov family were murdered

2. Erle Stanley Gardner, author of Perry Mason, was born on that day

3. The 100-year war ended with the battle of Castille

4. July 17th is the Day of International Criminal Justice. 

I hope ‘Blood Runs Cold’ gets the same support and love which ‘Route 13: Highway to Hell.’ enjoyed. 

Enjoy!

Yatindra Tawde

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Hampi, Anegundi, Aihole, Pattadakal, Badami Part 2

Day 3

After an exhausting day in Hampi, we decided to take it easy the next day. This decided our destination for the day, which was Anegundi. Anegundi is nearby, @  20 km. from Hampi instead of another exhausting drive to Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami, which involved lot of travel.

Instead of breakfast in the resort itself, we opted for a light one outside. So the driver took us to the same garden restaurant where we had lunch the previous day. While my wife had a simple sada dosa, I had Mysore masala dosa which was totally different from the one available in Mumbai and so mouth-watering.

Once the breakfast was done, we were on the way to Anegundi. We passed through the very common landscape of Hampi and it’s surroundings, the boulder strewn countryside with small, green fields sprinkled in between. These are the rice plantations interspersed with the banana ones.

 

For those who don’t know, Anegundi or Anegondi is the Kishkindha of Ramayana. Kishkindha was the capital of Vali, the Monkey King and his brother Sugreeva, who helped locate Maa Sita for Shri Ram.

 

We reached our first destination, the  Anjanadri hill. A small, whitewashed temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman is perched on the summit. The Anjanadri hill is a hill of huge boulders piled on top of each other. The driver told us that there are more than 550 steps to the top which seemed to be a daunting task. But we decided to brave it and were on the way.

 

It’s a relief that most of the initial climb is under covers, as there is a roof constructed over the stairs. But once you have crossed 1/3rd of the way, you are climbing under the direct sunlight and the steps become steeper. It is not for those with bad knees. We were apprehensive on this point, but thankfully our knees held up.

 

As one climbs higher and higher, the view below gets more enchanting, a chequered vista of green and brown, green of the rice fields and brown of the boulders.

 

So we proceeded with regular halts to catch our breath. I noticed one thing. When there are many people doing the same thing; here, climbing and halting to catch their breath, an unknown bond is formed with the fellow climbers, smiles are exchanged, they tell each other, where they come from, their immediate travel plans, etc.

Just before the last few steps to the top, you have to bend more than half of your body height to pass underneath a huge boulder which almost bars you from proceeding further. It’s as if the penultimate bow before the Lord before you are welcomed into his presence.P_20200306_113744

We left our footwear with an aged person who seemed to be appointed for just that. Since the month of March is not in the usual tourist season, there was not much of a crowd. 

We were soon inside the Hanuman Mandir. We had darshan and sat inside, meditating before the Lord. It’s a small mandir and the space inside is enough for just a handful of devotees. 

After 15-20 minutes of silent contemplation, we emerged outside to have a look at the surrounding landscape. And were we zapped with the beauty of the fields below!

If that is not enough, tall coconut trees line the green fields and narrow canals and lazy roads meander through them.

 

After spending about an hour and a half on the top, we started our descent. During the descent, the topmost steps were comparatively difficult due to the step height. But once we reached the covered steps, the final descent was a breeze.

When we reached at the bottom, we were surprised to see a lady hawker of bananas talking to the monkeys who surrounded her. Though we didn’t understand the language, we were sure she was admonishing them for being boisterous and naughty.

Talking of being boisterous, we were certainly not, after the vigorous exercise of the last 3 hours. Our battery was down and our driver wanted us to climb another small hill to go to another temple. We declined politely, praying before the hill with folded hands.

Next, he took us to the Laxmi mandir located on the bank of Pampa Sarovar. Pampa Sarovar is a small lake which is considered to be one of the holy lakes in India. It attracts a large number of pilgrims as well as tourists throughout the year.

It finds a mention in the Ramayana too as Lord Ram and his brother, Laxmana had passed through during their quest for Sita. It is the same place where Shabari waited with the berries to meet Lord Ram. 

Though we didn’t witness it, Pampa Sarovar becomes very picturesque during the season of lotus bloom, with the whole lake being filled with lotus buds.

The priest of the Laxmi temple was a Maharashtrian from the holy place of Pandharpur and we were pleasantly surprised when he started talking to us in Marathi as soon as he saw us enter. I was surprised and asked him how he knew that we too were Maharashtrians. He just smiled mystically and proceeded with his prayers.

Once we left from there we were feeling hungry and tired. We had lunch at the garden restaurant and then decided to rest at the resort in the afternoon.

After the siesta, my wife was still feeling exhausted so I proceeded alone, this time to the Tungabhadra dam. 

The Karnataka Government has made excellent arrangements for the tourists. They arrange regular bus trips to the top of the hill, which flanks the dam and also to a beautiful garden.

Once I got off from the bus, the silvery rays of the setting Sun, reflecting from the dam waters welcomed me.

The panoramic view from above gives a bird’s eye view of the surrounding plains. One can see many water canals below, taking the water to far off places. After spending about 45 minutes on the hilltop, I made my way back. I skipped the garden as I was alone and then returned back to the resort.

 

Thus ended the day. The next day was another day of long car rides and walking.

Yatindra Tawde

 

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Hiraeth – A book review

The first image that captures your attention is the apt artistic rendition of the message the author wants to convey. The tree symbolises the Indian subcontinent, rooted in the same culture but the ripped apart into two countries by a sudden cataclysmic event.

As you read the stories, you are drawn into the lives of ordinary human beings, pushed into facing sudden extraordinary circumstances.

If there are obnoxiously creepy individuals, trying to take undue advantage of unfortunate situations, there are people who have not lost their humanity in the face of the difficult times.

If there are people who lost their sanity, there are individuals who clung to some hope even in those trying times.

But finally these are heart rending stories of the common man whose destiny was so mercilessly turned upside down by fickle politicians looking for their self-aggrandizement.

As you read the stories, you cannot but admire the high level of research, the author, Dr. Shivani Salil, must have undertaken to meet such affected individuals and families who were caught in the turmoil of that unfortunate event of partition of a great country on the basis of religion.

I recommend this book for all those who were far removed from this page of history, especially the young generation which is separated by the many decades of freedom.

Yatindra Tawde

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The Bus

As man evolved, he understood that, compared to other animals, he was a weakling. This was apparent on his various hunting expeditions to provide food for his dependents.

In addition to many other parameters, he lacked in speed. Most of the time, his prey galloped away or ran away, and he was left panting by the wayside.

Thus his need to domesticate various other animals like the horse to gain speed. This was his preferred means of transport, whenever he needed to travel faster, till the industrial revolution, when mechanised vehicles were introduced in the form of cars.

But these cars ran on petrol or diesel which were in short supply, hence expensive.

He felt the need to transport a larger number of people at a time and thus a bus was born. Though it ran on the same expensive fuel, the higher numbers it carried made it economical. But this dependence on buses and cars for faster travelling meant burning of the highly polluting fuels which became one of the major factors of global warming.

Thus started the search for cleaner and inexpensive energy sources.

Electrical energy is cleaner and today it is taking baby steps towards electric cars but there are other cheaper energy sources too, on which buses and cars can run. Like CNG, LPG, etc. but man is never satisfied.

Which brings us to the news which I read today.

It seems UK has taken a very important step where they have test driven a bus run by poo.

Poo, did I say!

Coming to think of it, it certainly would be inexpensive as it gets generated regularly, mostly every morning. Of course, there are those unique specimens who generate it untimely. And then there are few who fall ill and cannot hold it in and have to rush to generate.

There are enough species who do this extremely important social work day in and day out and contribute to reducing the global warming. My salutations to the scientists who conceived this unique energy source, based on methane conversion.

The day is not far, when this poo generation takes the form of an industry where various species are lined together every morning to generate energy for the ever growing vehicle numbers.

Already I see the importance of certain middle Eastern countries going down and corresponding elevation of another country which already has such an industry lining the huge network of railway tracks all across the length and breadth of its vast geography. It just needs to be tapped and exploited in a proper way.

Yatindra Tawde

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The Legend of the Egg

It’s said that Social Media is a world of’likes’ and’dislikes’. But in this world, these words are in their sillier avatar.

But that is expected to happen when people can socialize only by ‘liking’ or ‘disliking’. Nowadays ‘likes’ have taken the form of ‘love’ which is denoted by a red heart. Whereas ‘dislike’ has taken an ugly turn in the form of ‘troll’.

But today we will concentrate on’likes’ since recently it was in the news.

A puny brown egg; yes brown, for the racially sensitive, managed to dethrone the current queen of social media, on one of the social apps.

Now, anyone would wonder how can people like a photo of a humble egg, that too in such large numbers. After all, it is meant for creating a life or feeding someone. Why would anyone give it so much importance?

This Eggegend; that’s my word for the egg legend, it gave me sleepless nights. And a depleted breakfast, as I couldn’t bring myself to cannibalize a legend in the making, or rather a legend already made.

So my research started and where did I roam on the big, bad Earth for doing this research?

Nothing like what you would imagine.

I spread myself on my sofa after eating an eggless cake, which served two purposes. One, I was eating an vegetarian snack and second, I was respecting a legend.

While I lazed on the sofa, my mind was concentrated on the search engines which chugged across the pad screen.

And lo and behold!

There was this story of an Indian teenager who was the mastermind of this whole saga. And this was a proud moment for patriotic me.

This is his story –

He clicked an enticing photo of the brown egg, which did all the hard work of posturing before a DSLR camera. The teenager too, did not leave any egg…er… stone unturned, to capture the historic moment on camera. With just the right lighting and innumerable captures.

Finally he was ready to challenge the reigning queen.

The next step was to share his invaluable capture on the same photo sharing app, the fiefdom of the Queen.

And then the masterstroke!

Appeal to the empathetic feelings of the people; their propensity to support the underdog. So the photograph was captioned, ‘Let’s make the Egg the most liked on this app and challenge the reigning Queen!’. And the public did the rest.

And the rest is history.

Today this photograph is the most liked after dethroning the Queen and still counting the likes.

All hail the Eggegend!

Yatindra Tawde

Lagaan

For the Bollywood challenged, Lagaan is tax. And I am not talking about Income tax, for tax can be on anything under the Sun. But even then, I was not prepared for this.

New Zealand, a heaven on earth, is known for its dairy farming, agriculture and wool. Since these dominate their exports too, huge percentage of its people are into these businesses. Which means, after humans, cows and sheep make up a majority of the country’s fauna.

The people had slumbered into a state of bliss when the government decided to shake things up. Due to the millions of cows and sheep across the countryside, they naturally release tons of greenhouse gases. These need to be controlled to slow down the warming of earth’s surface.

So the government decided to tax the burps and farts of the cattle. Imagine! There’s a serious meeting going on in the highest echelons of power when suddenly someone burps or someone farts on the job, and Eureka! Let’s tax those, says someone. And a law gets passed.

The people were pissed. However they were told to charge more for climate-friendly products, whichever they are. Cheers to that they said and gorged on climate-unfriendly food and burped away to glory.

However, the global consumers of New Zealand’s climate-friendly dairy products were not amused. In India the consumers protested. Indians are known to be creative in everything they do. It was not different this time.

They threw a big party for their own formidable cattle force and a gigantic feast was arranged. They were fed the most gas inducing nuts in addition to the usual hay. And the result was a symphony of earth shuddering burps and farts which shook the neighbourhood and resulted in an Ozone hole overhead.

However, some enterprising Indians are now exporting cattle fart depressors to New Zealand and are laughing all the way to the bank.

Yatindra Tawde

Image courtesy unsplash.com and Leopold Maitre

Naal – A Movie review (Marathi movie)

 

Readers would wonder, ‘Why a review now for a movie which released in 2018?’

 

Well, I saw the movie now, in 2022 and was totally sucked into the life of the protagonist, a small boy living a laid back village life with his family and friends.

What I loved about the movie is that there are no over the top performances and neither are there melodramatic scenes. Everything is portrayed so naturally and sensitively, the viewer in me felt and lived the innocent life of the small boy once again.

The Director, Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti skillfully manages to capture the entire film from the point of view of the child, never once straying into a parallel storyline. No wonder, the Director was honoured with the Indira Gandhi award for the best debut film for a Director. His vision is apparent right from the first frame, selecting an authentic setting for the film in the heart of rural Maharashtra.

He is no doubt helped by the acting prowess of Nagraj Manjule and Devika Daftardar, who play the important roles as parents of the protagonist.

And what can one say about the child actor, Shreenivas Pokale, a precocious 8 year old child who manages to suck the viewer into his world, transporting you back to your own childhood of innocent memories. A deserving winner of National film award for the best child artist, Shreenivas Pokale makes you laugh and cry in equal measures, at his childish, naughty antics and his innocent struggles when he inadvertently comes to know a hidden truth about himself.

While his interactions with his friends are what all childhoods are about, it is his relationship with his mother and grandmother, which are truly heartwarming. I haven’t seen such a sensitive portrayal before from one so young as the soul of the whole film rests on his tiny shoulders.

Those who love cinema have no right to miss this masterpiece of an experience.

 

Yatindra Tawde

 

 

The Cheetahs from Africa

Whatever their fate in their new land, the 8 cheetahs from Africa have already made history, being the first Cheetahs to fly. Well, they have been recorded to run at an amazing speed of 98 km/hr but they had to fly from Namibia to India for their Indian sojourn. A special jet was hired to bring these special guests to India followed by a helicopter ride to Kuno National Park, where they were released in a specially designed enclosure. Now they will begin a life of being acclimatized to Indian prey and forest conditions.


It’s their good fortune that hunting has been banned in India since 1972. Otherwise the ex-Royalty of India or the neo-royals would have made their life a formidable struggle.


Settling in new lands is a challenge in itself, hopefully they would find sufficient prey in the National Park. And poachers would be on the prowl too. I am not aware whether any highways pass through the national park otherwise there would have been an added hazard. Not to mention, they would also have to compete with their cousins, the leopards for their prey and their habitat.


And when they start sprinting, I hope the area of the national park doesn’t fall short to break them into a trot.

People line up in Mumbai to gawk at the penguins. A similar line would have been seen at Kuno to ogle at the new arrivals but for the cool off time given to them to first settle down.


Yatindra Tawde

Thanks to @pumplekin for making this photo available freely on @unsplash 

A book review- A Second Cup of Tea

Book Title – A Second Cup of Tea

Author – Various

Publisher – The  Hive

A second cup of tea by The Hive Publishers is a fantastic offering of a variety of stories, ranging from rib-tickling humour to feel-good tales to stories which would bring happy tears to the reader’s eye and tug at the heartstrings.

Talking of humour which happens to be my favourite genre, The Cupidian Catastrophe by Pallavi Sawant-Uttekar occupies the numerous uno position. I loved it.  I admire the way the story is written, neither going over-the-top nor crossing the boundaries of below-the-belt humour but still managing to make me guffaw loudly.

Nothing Fishy about it by Narayani Manapadam is rocking hilarious. Not for nothing am I a die-hard fan of this amazing author. A love story set in a Bengalee social setting of a docile son and his overbearing Maa and rounded off with a beautiful suitor, the author weaves her magic to make it a breezy read.

Another humorous offering which caught my attention and made me grin like a cheshire cat while reading, was The Chronicle of Concurrent Anniversaries by Dakshata Kudanekar. This story finds humour in the most mundane domestic tasks which got amplified during the work from home Covid times. Of course, another reason for liking it, is that the writing is very similar to the style of yours truly.

Never Alone by Khushboo Shah is a delightful story where the humble cutlery comes alive to narrate a charming tale of a lonely widow and conspire to banish her loneliness.

I happened to glance at the name, ‘Hampi’ in one of the stories and was intrigued. Hampi is one of my most favourite places in India so I started reading the story with extra interest. Roots among the Rocks by Srivalli Rekha is a sublime story of seeking and finding one’s roots.

The Second Anniversary by Nepomanjaree and the Second Proposal by Gowri Bhargav touched me with their effortless narration and pathos.

Which brings me to GAR! Chu Yatee! By Shweta Mathur Lall. Such a beautiful story of old friends rendered apart by suspicion and mistrust during the most unfortunate and sad episode of Indian history.

Rama’s Choice by Ramanjaneya Sharaph and The Nightingale of the Round Table by Luisa Kay Reyes  spin an alternate narrative of historical tales with aplomb and one must appreciate the authors for attempting them.

These and the other charming stories make A Second Cup of Tea a must read and I found this Second round of Tea an upgrade over the previous Tea with a drop of Honey.

Yatindra Tawde

 

2 minute noodles…a recipe for divorce

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so goes an old saying. After the first flush of love…nay, after the first lust of love is over, what remains is how a couple look after their roost. While the man is expected to master the intricacies of shopping and help about at home, he expects his wife to look after their children as well as the child in him. Cooking delicious meals for the family is a part of the essential skills which a woman should possess. Of course, nowadays she is also expected to add to the family coffers by going out to work. That’s why women are the goddesses of multitasking.  But that is subject for another writeup.

A man married a suitable girl. She was a complete package, pleasant looks and good education. But what clinched the deal for him was the added information shared by his would-be father-in-law that she was a fast cook; that she could conjure up tasty meals within 2 minutes. Since he was a busy person he was impressed, now that he wouldn’t have to wait for the meals to be prepared.

On their first day together, after a night of frolicking under the sheets, she prepared the first meal, a breakfast in literally 2 minutes. A bowl of noodles! Being totally satiated in the night the man indulged his wife, thinking that she must be tired due to their antics. Then the fun began. A bowl of noodles followed for lunch and rounded off with yet another bowl of noodles for dinner.  And then the cycle continued every day.

Once the passion of early married life evaporated, the man was finally struck by realization. His wife was a one-trick pony. The secret of 2 minute meals was noodles and that’s all that she could prepare  to feed him.

Since she could no longer find a way to his heart through his stomach, he made his decision. He filed for a divorce. To his surprise and relief, the judge too believed in 2 minutes justice and the divorce was granted in a jiffy.

Last heard, the man is looking for a new wife and his only condition is for her to be a great cook serving a variety to the satisfaction of his culinary tastes.

Yatindra Tawde

 

They came, they saw…they burped

They arrived at the boundary.

This was the same area where their forefathers had frolicked through the wild foliage.

Now they saw nothing but a tall structure with small openings which the current dwellers referred to as windows and galleries. The couple was used to seeing the current dwellers, though similar in appearance but having colourful skins, in the pond premises nearby. The current dwellers were curious about them and fed them random food. And the couple and their friends welcomed these colourful dwellers due to easy availability of food.

However the couple was most curious about the tall structures and dreamed of raiding them.

Thus today they were at the boundary where they faced their first hurdle. Upon reaching the boundary 3-4 ferociously barking dogs welcomed them with a cacophonic chorus. But the couple wasn’t afraid for they had full confidence in their own gymnastic abilities. For, in no time, they had crossed their first hurdle, though it was hurtful to their ears.

The next hurdle was some tall dweller in drab skin, carrying a long stick. They teased him by flicking the cap over his head and then showing him their behind. As he ran behind them, the pipes on the tall structure came to their rescue and soon they had climbed to the fifth floor. For a brief while, they let their legs and tail dangle over the parapet and enjoyed the view of the pond, from that height. They had reached so high for the first time in their lives and one of them started having a vertigo induced swoon. He tried to grab hold of something and in his haste, managed to push a window open. That made his partner curious about the inside of the dwelling and he jumped up to look into the window.

He gestured his partner to come and have a look and both of them were itching to enter inside. This went on for a few moments when they looked inside and glanced at each other and then again looked inside.

When, for a longest time they saw no movement, one of them jumped inside with the other quickly following behind.

Their sharp nose and eager eyes darting across the room, quickly espied…FOOD!

MANGOES!

For the next few moments all hell broke loose as a lot of mangoes were consumed in a wild frenzy, the skin ripped off violently.

Soon they got tired of the dark, stuffy surrounding inside and made their way out of the same window, feeling the air flowing through their fur. They occupied their favourite space on the parapet and…burped.

Friends, that’s what happens when you live close to a wood. You never know which one of your wilderness friends would pay you an unwanted visit. It can be your tree dwelling cousins like the ones in the above story, sometimes it’s the turn of slithering serpents and rarely the graceful cats come looking for street dogs.

The human species experiences such hair-rasing events all across the world with the boundaries getting blurred on an increasing basis.

Yatindra Tawde

A cultured job

The quartet reached the planned destination for the night. While they were fully prepared with all the paraphernalia required for the job, they had also readied the other equally important kit.

Two of them stood on the road, facing in opposite directions. They were the lookouts, whose job was to warn of any upcoming dangers, while the other two took out the lock cutter. With a mighty heave the lock was broken and no one had seen them do it. Taking that as a sign of good luck, they thanked themselves on thinking about the Almighty before embarking on a new task. Surely, He was the one who had manipulated the stars in their favour.

The shutter was opened and with a quick glance in all directions, all four rushed inside, pulling the shutter down behind them. Sitting down with their heads bowed, they uttered a quick prayer. One of them reached into the rucksack they had brought and out came a photograph of a deity which was placed on a desk, with great reverence. Then, out came a spear, a lock cutter, keys, and assortment of other equipment. These were placed before the deity’s photo. Then another reached into his pockets and out came agarbatti, matchsticks, etc. The agarbatti was tucked into the holder, the dhoop was lighted and they started praying in unison. After applying tikka on each other’s forehead, they prostrated themselves in front of the deity.

Once the blessings were taken, they finally got down to do the job at hand.

The next morning, the owner of the financial institution bent down to open the shutters, he got the shock of his life. For, the locks outside were broken. Upon going inside he found the lockers open and gold and cash was gone. In front of the lockers a moustachioed deity smiled back at him from a photo. A spear kept on a desk pointed at him menacingly. A paper lay on the desk. “Don’t try to find me. It won’t be good”, it said. With shaking, sweating palms,  the owner reached for the telephone. “Hello, Police”.

Friends, this isn’t my imagination working on overdrive. It happens only in India, where before commencing any work, we bow before the Almighty. It seems, the robbers were very culturally informed, if not anything else. Last known, they are yet to be traced.

Yatindra Tawde

Valuable Coins

I come from an era when 5 paisa coins used to fetch a few candies in my childhood. Coins ranging from 1 paisa to Rs. 1 were always lying in a small purse in the Godrej cupboard. Come the 90’s and coins upto 25 paise started disappearing from circulation. 50 paise coins met the same fate in 2000’s. Come 2022 and there are all indications that the time is up for 1 rupee coins. How wrong I was.

State of Tamil Nadu. City Salem.

A van drives into the compound of a high end bike showroom. A man gets off the van and enters the showroom. He meets the salesman and selects his dream bike. A bank agent stationed in the showroom approaches our man, offering a loan. Our man brushes him off, saying that he would buy the bike with his hard earned cash in one go. The happy salesman guides our man to the cash counter. Our man makes his offer. The cashier’s jaw drops to the floor. So does the salesman’s.
No way, they say.
It’s my way or the highway says our man.
The Manager has a word with our man. Then he relents. For the first time since he came into the showroom, our man smiles. He shouts for his friends. The friends get down from the van; one opens the van door. A wheelbarrow comes out. Two other friends start loading it. With 1 rupee coins. There are thousands, nay, lacs of coins and they are unending. Finally the van is emptied.
The store Manager is sweating. He deputes one cashier…then another. Then he requests our man and his friends to help. They oblige. That way, our man is quite considerate.
Thus, our man made news with his unique purchase and made a viral YouTube video as an added bonus.

Yatindra Tawde